For today’s post of #StyleScribeWellnessWeek, I wanted to share a few of my favorite hip exercises I do at home with just a pilates ring and resistance bands! As I mentioned on Monday, BBG just doesn’t really target your hips (or it hasn’t with mine!) – it’s really good at focusing in on your core, thighs, glutes and arms, but there aren’t a lot of moves that work your inner thighs or hip area. In addition to doing more workouts with a trainer that target the area, I also decided to go ahead and buy some resistance bands and a pilates ring so I can do some additional work at home and when traveling. Both are lightweight and easy to throw in my big suitcase, so I can truly take them anywhere!
My recommendation would be to try and do 20 to 30 reps of each exercise for a total of three or four rounds. Please note I am not an expert or a personal trainer, so do these at your own risk… or consult with a PT or doctor before trying any of these moves yourself!
A BRIDGE WITH THE PILATES RING
This move is fairly straight forward. Lie down on your back with your feet hips-width apart. Place the Pilates ring in between your legs, just below your knees and keep it slightly squeezed so it stays put. Start with your lower back and butt on the ground. Lift your butt and lower back off the mat, squeezing your glutes as you go into a bridge position. Hold that position for a few seconds before lowering back down to the floor. The more you dig your heels in the ground, the more you’ll feel it in your butt! Repeat 20 times.
INNER THIGH SQUEEZE WITH PILATES RING
Start in the same position as you did for the Bridge move above. With your feet hips-width apart and the Pilates ring in between your legs, lift back up into a bridge position. You are going to stay in the bridge for this entire exercise! Once in a bridge, squeeze as hard as you can with your inner thighs and then release. Be sure to do this move slowly and with resistance so you’re really working those inner thighs! Complete a total of 20 squeezes.
CRAB WALKS WITH A RESISTANCE BAND
Place the resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees (you can also place it below your knees at a mid-calf level). Stand in a semi-squat position with your feet hips-width apart – really try to stick your butt out for this one (while keeping your core tight), as it helps activate your hamstrings and glutes! Take a medium to large step to the side slowly (doesn’t matter which side you start with), and place that foot firmly on the ground before moving the other leg over to meet it. Your legs should never touch – try to keep them at hips-width apart each time you step the second foot in to keep the resistance band taut. Keep going in the same direction for 10-15 steps before returning in the other direction to work the other leg. You’ll really start to feel it in your outer thigh/hip area by the end!
JUMP SQUAT WITH RESISTANCE BAND
This move will get your heart rate up and work those thighs and glutes too! Place the resistance band just above your knees and stand with your legs hips-width apart. Start in a low squat position and then propel yourself up into a jump. The key to this move is keeping your legs hips-width apart the entire time, from the starting squat to the jump and then back down into the squat – fight the resistance band to work those hips! Another great jump squat move to do is the split squat: stand up straight with your feet together and the resistance band just above your knees, and then jump into a squat position. You can see an example of it on this BBG workout page with a bench, but I don’t use the bench for these. It should be a continuous motion of jumping in and out.
DONKEY KICKS WITH RESISTANCE BAND
These next three moves can actually be done without any equipment at all, but adding a resistance band will make it more challenging and effective! Place the resistance band above your knees around your thighs. Start with your hands and knees on the floor, with your knees about hips-width apart. Take one leg and kick it straight up to the ceiling, keeping your knee bent and hips turned down so your lower back doesn’t get involved. It doesn’t really matter whether your feet are flexed or pointed, just make sure you keep your core and glutes engaged the entire time! Repeat 15-20 times before switching to the other leg.
LATERAL KNEE LIFTS WITH A RESISTANCE BAND
Start in the same position as you did for the donkey kicks. Instead of kicking backwards, you will lift your leg to the side, sort of like a clam shell. Repeat 15-20 times before switching to the other leg!
LATERAL LEG LIFT WITH RESISTANCE BAND
Lie down on your side with the resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees. Keep your legs in a straight line with the rest of your body. Slowly lift the top leg as high as you can before slowly lowering it back down. If you’re having trouble feeling it in your outer glute/hip area, try to kick back a little more diagonally to activate those muscles.
I may start filming some of the exercises I do with my personal trainer – would that be of interest to any of you? Let me know in the comments section of this post!